Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve students and families as principal of Laurel Hall School. I want to begin our relationship by sharing a recent personal, heartwarming story.
I received a Facebook message from a woman named Megan. As soon as her name appeared, though I never knew her as an adult, I immediately recalled the moment we met, and the last time I ever saw her - twenty-five years ago, after her most proud moment in her short ten-year-old life - fifth grade culmination.
I remember she was the last to leave campus that afternoon, holding her mother’s hand, beaming as she began to leave, before abruptly stopping to turn and give her favorite teacher a hug – a hug which would leave an indelible mark for the next quarter century. Likewise, when I first met Megan, she was arriving to her first day of school, also clutching her mother’s hand, grinning from ear to ear, though secretly terrified that her cerebral palsy and near complete blindness in one eye would inhibit her learning. Later, as my fifth-grade student, I came to know Megan as one of the most perseverant children I would ever meet. Over the years, I often wondered what became of her.
The other day, I discovered the answer:
“Hey Mr. G, I’m not sure if you remember me, but I was your student. I was thinking about you and wanted to tell you that you had a profound impact on my life. Your teaching really paid off. I have been living in Taiwan for twelve years. I am still handicapped and have a learning disability, but I speak seven different languages, teach English and am a self-supported missionary. Of course, all of this only by God’s Grace.”
All of this only by God’s Grace, indeed. Thank you, Megan, for having such a profound influence on my life - shaping me to become the educator I am today. Thanks also, for reminding me of Goodness and Grace and for allowing me to share our story with my new, wonderful Emmanuel Lutheran Church community.
Laurel Hall Principal